“Cecilia Parsberg’s artistic practice have often brought her towards the hazardous and complex but important and necessary political undertaking in speaking about the other, the marginalized or underprivileged of society (engaging both sexual, social and political displacement and suppression in her work), or the underdogs in a political conflict such as the Palestinians; generating challenging works of art, blending documentation and activism, where often the artist herself is present as witness, investigator, mediator, supporter.” (2006 Jan-Erik Lundström, BildMuseet, Umeå)
The blank canvas reflect the way I see and handle things. It’s about making contact with what I see. I need the other, a response, to make images. Sometimes in the gap between different perspectives, the language cracks. It is my hope that art will make visible this in-between space – which seems difficult to talk about – as a space for action; and thus contribute to the possibility for political action in and about this space.
I worked in Johannesburg and Soweto monthly periods during the years: 1999-2001. What I experienced in South Africa changed my life and the way I think about the role of art. How I see others and make images. I try to spot and explore which medial, linguistic, mental images that are set in play – collective as well as individual – in order to produce and activate images.
2001-06, Palestine/Israel. Can we drill holes in the wall? With painting, poetry or to connect with each other on opposite sides? Can voices move through borders? I studied facts on the ground, collaborated with people at site and produced some exhibitions, web sites and films. These websites describe the socio-political context where the art projects are made: http://this.is/Jenin and http://this.is/TheWall
The film A Heart from Jenin tells the story of Ahmed: the 12-year old Ahmed was shot by an Israeli sniper in Jenin camp, West Bank. Ahmed’s parents decided to donate their son’s heart to Israel. A 12-year old girl from Haifa, Israel, received Ahmed’s heart. Today the families have regular contact. A gift exists when there is a receiver, it’s a mutual thing.
2004-05, The project is called 4U! Made in Rinkeby during three months. Rinkeby is probably the most well-known suburb to Stockholm, the “first living place” for many immigrants. The meaning of the word Power was translated by speaking to people. We had to make more than hundred conversations becuase in Rinkeby 110-120 languages are spoken – is the meaning the same? No and Yes. A permanent piece was made, a wallpaper covering the walls in “Peoples house” a five-storey high building. We also made a travelling exhibition in Sweden, produced by Riksutställningar.
Now, I continue this research in the project: How do you become a successful beggar in Sweden?
See the full length version of BORDER (animation, 2012)